The Gorge, Victoria, Canada


The Gorge, Victoria, B.C.
Postmarked 1908
Publisher: Valentine & Sons, Montreal & Toronto

Google Street View (approximate).

The body of water known simply as “The Gorge” to Victoria locals is a narrow tidal inlet that connects Victoria Harbour to Portage Inlet. The Gorge Waterway is defined as the inlet between Craigflower Bridge and the Selkirk trestle. The Gorge has a rich history as an important spiritual place and food-gathering area for First Nations, and as a recreation area for Victoria residents.
Capital Regional District

The current Gorge Bridge connecting Saanich and Esquimalt along Tillicum Road was built in 1967, but that crossing had been used by First Nations for long before that. The first Gorge Bridge was constructed in 1848 by Roderick Finlayson, and consisted of five large Douglas fir logs laid across the narrows. Six other bridges followed, with the current version completed in 1967.
Interpretive sign captures history of Gorge Bridge (Victoria News)

The Gorge Bridge crosses “the Gorge”, the narrowest section of the 10-kilometre-long Gorge Waterway. The Gorge was the geographical centre of many attractionsand activities found along the Gorge Waterway during its historical heyday from 1880 to 1930 – a time when the waterway was renowned as one of Victoria’s main scenic attractions.” .  .  . To the east of the bridge there once were posh waterside mansions, bathhouse facilities for swimming and competition, the finish line for the Three Mile Swim, and dangerous high-diving towers. Steam-powered launches once cruised up the waterway from Victoria carrying tourists to view the “reversing falls”, visit Esquimalt’s Gorge Amusement Park, and enjoy the two waterside taverns.  .  .  . To the west of the bridge, day-trippers from town enjoyed the Gorge Amusement Park (now Esquimalt Gorge Park) that opened in 1905 with rollercoaster rides, outdoor dances, variety shows and the ever-popular Japanese Tea Garden. . . . To reduce the steep approach, the fifth bridge was built at a greater height and was made five feet wider. The bridge officially opened July 6, 1899, and remained in service for 34 years.
Gorge Bridge, The Geographic Centre of the Gorgea

Empress Hotel, Victoria, Canada


Empress Hotel, Victoria, B.C.
1912-1928 (see below)
Publisher: Coast Publishing Co, Vancouver

Google Street View.

Picture of the palm gardn

Built for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), the Empress Hotel is one of a series of Chateau-style hotels built by Canadian railway companies in the early 20th century to encourage tourists to travel their transcontinental routes. Popular with the travelling public for their elaborate decor and comfortable elegance, these hotels quickly became national symbols of quality accommodation. The Chateau-style vocabulary used by the railway hotels evolved as a distinctly Canadian architectural type. The Empress signals the beginning of this evolution from a strictly Chateau-style design towards one that incorporated contemporary forms. Built in 1904-08 to designs by Francis M. Rattenbury, the Empress was enlarged in 1910-12 to designs by W.S. Painter and in 1928 to designs by J.W. Orrock.
Parks Canada

Construction on the building began in 1904 and took nearly four years to complete. Rattenbury’s initial plans called for the development of a seven-story structure similar to Québec City’s Château Frontenac. As such, the nascent hotel’s appearance drew largely upon Châteauesque-style architecture as a source of inspiration. Similar to the other grand railroad hotels of the Canadian Pacific Railway, The Empress incorporated exterior walls built with stone and brick cladding, topped by a steep-pitched copper roof. Ornate dormers and gables defined the structure of the roof, which was lined with a series of polygonal turrets. Rattenbury did not exclusively rely upon Châteauesque architecture, either. On the contrary, he also used additional architectural forms whenever appropriate. For instance, the hotel’s spectacular porch used design principles based on Tudor Revival-style design aesthetics, while Second Empire architecture was present within the layout of several interior spaces. The Empress was unlike the hotels operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway in other ways, too. Rattenbury’s blueprinted followed an asymmetrical floor plan centered somewhat on an arcaded central loggia. Many projected pavilions accented by oriel windows defined the loggia, as well. Yet, the hotel’s most distinctive feature was a glass-roofed palm garden decorated with Chinese-inspired motifs.
Fairmont Empress

Montague Bridgman Ltd, Victoria

A portion of the main floor from the Cup and Saucer Gallery

Montague Bridgman Ltd.
“The Wedgwood Shop”
811 Government Street
Victoria, B.C. Canada.

Montague Bridgman Ltd.
More than 100 open stock patterns of English China, by Minton, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, and other famous names
North America’s largest selection of Wedgwood.
Royal Doulton figurines — Cups and Saucers
Fine Crystal Distinctive Gifts.

1960s

Street View (exterior (Hop on Hop Off))